+P ammo concerns

This is a discussion on +P ammo concerns within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; i ordered a browning practical 9mm from my local dealer, and when i went to pick it up i grabbed a box of corbon +P ...

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Thread: +P ammo concerns

  1. #1
    Member Array NaturalSelection's Avatar
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    +P ammo concerns

    i ordered a browning practical 9mm from my local dealer, and when i went to pick it up i grabbed a box of corbon +P ammo to suppliment my WWB. the gun manager told me that the browning hi-power would not stand up to +P ammo, and recommended that i consider the .40 version if i wasnt comfortable with 9mm luger (same price on both guns). i decided to wait on purchasing either until i get more info.

    my first thought was to call browning customer service, who told me that they do not recommend +P ammo in the hi-power. they would not elaborate or give me any information other than its not recommended.

    i got online and started to research the issue, and landed on an article by massad ayoob where he stated on page 2:

    "From Venezuela to Great Britain, I've seen quantities of broken Brownings in government arsenals whose slides and frames were cracked by the brutal hammering of 9x19 NATO ammo. +P and +P+ loads also seem to be contraindicated. Listen to Bill Laughridge, who said to me, "Tell your readers in all caps, DON'T USE +P IN HI-POWERS! It's been my experience that even a few magazines of +P will upset the locking lugs."

    so far this is discouraging. ive owned hi-powers in the past and never had trouble running +P ammo through them, but this gun is different because at this stage in my life i never sell my guns unless they fail to feed or fire. on the one hand i dont want to damage a weapon i plan to keep, but on the other hand i just dont feel confident in the 9mm luger round. the article went on to recommend:

    "Laughridge says that the trick set-up is to get a .40 Hi-Power and convert it to 9mm. Now it will take the hottest 9mm without damage, have even less recoil than the original 9mm P-35, and be convertible to .40 S&W at will."

    this is an option i suppose, but is it really necessary? if i were to get a .40 to convert, id much rather convert it to .357 auto anyway.

    one thing i noticed about holding the practical was that the web of my hand looked like it could easily get pinched by the hammer. my bodyfat content is around 12% currently so its not an issue of being fat. am i just used to the beavertails on my 1911s? is this "normal"? i dont remember ever being concerned with this in the past, but i sure noticed it today.

    im trying to make up my mind what i want to do. id really enjoy having another practical but if +P ammo is an issue id rather just get another 1911 or glock. i just dont have much confidence in a standard 9mm luger round and any pistol that couldnt reliably cycle +P ammo would be a waste of money for me.
    thanks,

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  3. #2
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    Hmmm - I have heard so many different opinions on this!

    I have a BHP Practical - and admittedly only use std vel ammo in it, tho use +P in my carry SIG.

    The argument one way is - back in 1935 and for years after - that design was digesting loads hotter than today's std vel - and for sure the mil stuff which often went thru smg's was certainly what we'd probably class as +P now and it was used.

    I recall a buddy shooting long range with his BHP and it was fed pretty hot stuff - it seemed to survive tho I did think he was endangering the gun.

    But hey - if Browning says no then I guess we should listen - better safe than sorry. I would say tho that even the std pressure 9mm does that but better out of the BHP barrel length than it would out of some compacts and so - if you will - makes better use of the round.

    I am interested to hear other's opinions - which would include Steve Camp's thoughts.
    Chris - P95
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    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


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  4. #3
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    since you said: "but if +P ammo is an issue id rather just get another 1911 or glock."

    Were I you & looking for a great Self~Defense carry handgun & all 'round great handgun that closely matched 9mm+P I would probably buy a Colt Light Weight Commander in .38 Super & stoke it with Corbon ammo & then you're good to go without doing any pistol conversions.

    Just a humble suggestion for you to possibly consider.


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  5. #4
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    Hello. Some of the older forged frame guns (of which I own and still shoot two of) are considered a bit soft for a heavy diet of +P ammunition. That said, I've fired more than a little of it through those Hi Powers over the past decades. I did go to 18.5-lb recoil springs and I personally use the Buffer Tech buffs in all my Hi Powers. They've cause me zero problems and this spring/buff combination has worked well for me with both standard pressure and +P ammunition. I also leave the mainsprings at the factory 32-lbs.

    Though I still think that the "best" defensive loads in 9mm rest in the +P area, I will also add that there are some very good standard pressure loads available now as well.

    Were I "forced" by regulation, availability, or just nagging concerns over my Hi Power's longevity using +P, I'd go with either Speer 124-gr. Gold Dot or Remington Golden Sabers in the same weight. Likewise, if I prefered the "heavy bullet" approach, I'd go with the same two manufacturers in the same bullet designs.

    Somewhat "old technology" and considered "obsolete" by some, I continue to stock up on the old Federal 115-gr. JHP that is now designated "Federal Classic C9BP" or something very similar. I've seen a couple of coyotes cleanly "stopped" with this load and talked with one survivor of a gunfight who used it with deadly effect against an armed aggressor. (Two center chest hits and the guy was DRT.)

    The only Hi Powers that I've seen with rounded lugs or other notable damage were ones used over years w/o ever changing the recoil spring even once. I suspect strongly that the last one I looked at didn't have more than a 10-lb recoil spring in it though it started out at the factory 17-lbs.

    I think that Browning is providing the "safest" answer for them and their company. One will also recall that in their manuals for the Hi Power, it is strongly suggested that the gun never be carried with a round in the barrel and other such thoughts. There is possibly a small percentage of Hi Powers that won't take a steady diet of +P ammunition, but I honestly believe that the current Mk III pistols and their variants will.

    If interested, here are some observations concerning this topic:

    http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/H...Federal115.htm

    http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/H...Winchester.htm

    http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/B...essureAmmo.htm

    http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/H...Ammunition.htm

    http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/B...0gr%20Ammo.htm

    http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/H...0Longevity.htm

    It is my belief that more important that the latest, hottest, nuclear load is the ability to place the shot(s) where they need to be.

    Right now, when I carry a 9mm Hi Power it is loaded with either Winchester 127-gr. +P+ Ranger or Corbon 115-gr. DPX +P. The latter is a bit easier to control in accurate rapid-fire and is about 1240 ft/sec or so compared to the same company's +P JHP in the same weight that frequently exceeds 1400 ft/sec from the same gun.
    The DPX velocity is limited somewhat as only more and possibly excessive penetraton would occur as the DPX operates very well indeed at current velocities. +P? Yes indeed, but no hotter than Remington's 115-gr. JHP +P and not much faster than the standard pressure 115-gr. Federal JHP that often averages around 1170 ft/sec or so from my Hi Powers. I'm no engineer, just a 30+ year Hi Power fan and shooter, but I sort of think that the current Hi Powers can fare quite well with something like 115-125-grs at 1250 ft/sec or so, but do think that the hottest 115-gr. at 1400 ft/sec is possibly a bit too hot for continuous or much regular use.

    If interested in the DPX:

    http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/C...09mm%20115.htm

    Best.

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    Thanks Stephen

    That was really interesting.
    The Hi~Power is such an ergonomically comfortable handgun.
    It fits my gun hand extremely well.
    I've shot a few of them (and loved them) but, never owned one.

    I always "backed away" from purchasing a Hi~Power because (I guess) I "bit" on that very common myth...and honestly thought that it should not be fed a steady diet of any Hot/Hot ammo...or any +P ammo at all.
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    Member Array NaturalSelection's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by P95Carry
    I have a BHP Practical - and admittedly only use std vel ammo in it, tho use +P in my carry SIG.
    im not a fan of the 9mm luger, but i am a fan of the hi-power, mostly due to its similarities to the 1911. its almost like john browning took the 1911 and made it just a little bit better (in some ways). why he didnt design it to take the .45acp is beyond me, but who am i to question the master?
    that said, confidence is everything and for whatever reason (be it legitimate or not) i just dont feel any in the 9mm luger. the 9mm +P does have some respectable numbers, and i can carry +P with confidence in both my ability to hit with it, and in the cartridge itself. id still prefer it in .45acp, but +P is a sacrifice im willing to make to have another hi-power. 9mm luger however, is not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by QKShooter
    Were I you & looking for a great Self~Defense carry handgun & all 'round great handgun that closely matched 9mm+P
    i typically buy a weapon a month, be it handgun, rifle, or shotgun. if it were about the ballistics i would just buy another .357 auto and never look back. im not really looking for 9mm +P performance, im just looking to add a hi-power to my growing collection but only if its capable of cycling my personal bare minimum cartridge, the 9mm +P.

  9. #8
    Member Array NaturalSelection's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen A. Camp
    I did go to 18.5-lb recoil springs and I personally use the Buffer Tech buffs in all my Hi Powers.
    could you tell me a little more about the springs and the buffers? where do i get them? ive never heard of the buffer tech buffers.


    I also leave the mainsprings at the factory 32-lbs.
    how does the factory mainspring hold up to condition 1 carry? equal to a quality 1911? ive never had a problem in the past, but ive never kept a hi-power for more than a few years.


    Though I still think that the "best" defensive loads in 9mm rest in the +P area, I will also add that there are some very good standard pressure loads available now as well.
    while i carry standard corbon jhp in .45 and .357auto, the powrball is what i plan to carry in the 9mm. ive read of 9mm jhp's getting "clogged" with heavy clothing so the powrball was looking pretty good. opinions on it?


    The only Hi Powers that I've seen with rounded lugs or other notable damage were ones used over years w/o ever changing the recoil spring even once. I suspect strongly that the last one I looked at didn't have more than a 10-lb recoil spring in it though it started out at the factory 17-lbs.
    do you think mr. ayoob is basing his statements on ignorance, hearsay, etc? i dont know what his credentials are other than writing in magazines, and his statements on the hi-power are certainly in contradiction with what ive found over the years. im just trying to make sure what i plan on doing is "ok".

    thats awesome information! may i contact you privately concerning it?

    thanks again for your informative response. have you any opinion on what i found with the hammer hitting the web of my hand?

  10. #9
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    Hello. I get the springs at www.gunsprings.com from Wolfe and they've been fine. I am hoping that ISMI will eventually make Hi Power springs in addition to the 1911 ones that they now offer.

    I buy the buffs via www.buffertech.com The price is a bit higher than the ones seen for 1911 pistols, but the buffs last longer depending upon how hot the load is.

    No problems with carrying the gun cocked and locked. Did it for several years when a police officer.

    The PowRball is a good round, but I'd go with the DPX given a choice. It has worked quite well through barriers and seems to be very consistant in expansion qualities. It also penetrates a bit deeper. On ocassion I've had the PowRball expand exceptionally fast and not penetrate as deeply as expected in test media, but it normally works fine. If interested,

    http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/CorbonPowRball.htm

    I cannot speak for Mr. Ayoob. He did mention to me in an email a while back that the ammunition he usually associated with damage to handguns including Hi Powers was an extremely hot round out of S. American and a SMG round out of England. The guns being used in either place during the times I first read of his complaints would have been the "classic" style Hi Powers.

    Thank you for the kind words, sure drop me a PM and we can "talk".

    Best.

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    Steve - once again - great input - appreciated as always.
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


    http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

  12. #11
    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    Figured Steve would pop up on this thread all you have to do is type Hi power and he shows up ..lol

    No other reason for me to post as he has pretty much covered all the stuff

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